The Artic is a region at the upper most tipof the Northern Hemisphere. The Artic includes the areaaround Greenland, USSR, Canada and Alaska. Much of theArtic circle is permanently frozen ice. The Artic is a pristineenvironment, clean and void of human interference.
Howeveras humans move into these areas and begin to extract whatever they can be balance can be tipped, resulting in pollutionand destruction of the environment. Climate. The Articwinters much longer than the Summer. In the winter the sunnever rises and in the summer it never sets. The averagetemperature for the Artic is zero degrees of less. Industryand the Artic. There was once a time when the land of theArtic Circle was considered useless and only hospitable tothose native to it. However once vast quantities of oil andfish had been found there was a rush of interest in the land.
Fishing in the Artic has occurred for thousands of years butin recent years man has been fishing the Artic; in greaternumbers and taking more fish. Professional fishermen aretaking all kinds of fish as well as whales and seals. In someareas fishermen have become so efficient at their job thatquotas have needed to be put on to limit or stop the captureof certain animals. There are many mineral deposits withinthe Artic Circle.
In Russia: nickel, iron ore, apatite,diamonds, gold, tin, coal, mica, and tungsten. In Sweden:iron ore. In Greenland: lead, zinc, molybdenum and cryolite.Spitsbergen: coal. Canada: uranium, copper, nickel, lead,zinc, tungsten and iron ore.
The digging out of mineralswould inevitably disturb the natural habitat as well as theenvironment there would be a great cost to maintain the site.Industry that is designed to process various minerals havewaste products that would be most unwelcome in the Artic.A good example of this is the pollution that has arisen as aresult of the smelting of metals in the Artic.
It is for thisreason that there is very little industry in the Artic. HoweverRussia, Canada, Greenland and Iceland have several smallscale manufacturing plants. The largest industry in the Artic isoil. The rush began in 1968 when a large oil field wasdiscovered, there was a great deal of protest but thedevelopment went ahead. Oil extracted from the felid makesits way to Port Valdez via a 1300 kilometre pipeline.Although steps were taken to limit the pipelines affect on theenvironment it still disrupts the migration of caribou.
In 1989the unthinkable happened and the super tanker ExxonValdez ran aground spilling millions of gallons of crude oilinto the Prince William Sound. The effects of the slick weredevastating. Within a week workers counted 24000 deadsea birds and 1000 sea otters. The effects of the slick werefelt throughout the food chain from photoplankton to bears.The Exxon company funded the clean up but there was nocompensation for the hundreds of people that lost their jobas a result of the slick. Pollution of the Artic A large threat tothe Artic is transboundry pollution and bioaccumulation.These are both complex subjects but are easily explained.Transboundry pollution is the pollution of the Artic fromother countries.
The ocean currents and wind conditionsresult in large amounts of pollution being deposited in theArtic. In winter when the sun is low thick blankets of hazecan be seen over the Artic. Bioaccumulation is the processwhere pollutants build up in the Artic because they cannot bebroken down due to the extreme cold. Once harshchemicals find their way into the food chain they stay thereforever, trapped in the animals and sediments. A result ofincreased pollutants in the atmosphere is the occurrence ofacid rain. Sulphur and Nitrogen dioxides drift fromdeveloped countries and when they mix with water in theatmosphere they can produce acid rain as strong as lemonjuice. The acid snow melts in summer and spring producingan acid shock that can kill animals and plants alike.
In 1986the nuclear reactor in Chernoybl exploded sending a nuclearcloud into the atmosphere that among other placescontaminated plants and animals in the Artic region.Particularly affected were lichens, lichens are a plant thatmakes up the majority of a reindeers’ diet. When thereindeers ate the lichens they became radioactive and manythousands had to be shot. Tourism vs conservation. In thebattle between tourism and conservation, tourism seems toalways win.
However in the Artic tourism has so far had littleeffect (compared to other human